Ja-maica your pancakes a little more special this week with @appletonrumuk #pancakeday #recipe

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 08.35.04

Yes that’s right it really is Pancake Day tomorrow. We’ve been rattling our brains to find out how best to make our pancakes a little different this year and nothing says ‘step away from the children’ and indulge yourself like a little bit of boozy pancake offerings!

Ynxj4gxfscYmk02APD3gwGekjCmI_l6BzRris7cccqMSo forget Blue Peter, lets get down to business with an old (but new to us) recipe from the world famous Appleton Estate rum makers, that dates back to 1749!

And to make it a little more fun, even the recipes look like they’ve come from the olden days – well, the 1980’s at least! (We can thank the PR’s for that!)

Enjoy, but if the kids are going mad from the sugar and lemon toppings, then stay safe in the knowledge that these ones are all for yourself and you deserve it!

Happy Pancake Day Snoochers!

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 08.31.53

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 08.32.16

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 08.32.28

 

 

Forget your Christmas Cooking disasters 2014 is a new year to cook with @smeguk #cooking #recipe #food

 

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 15.27.21

So did you to cook the turkey to perfection this year? or did you get ribbed by your family around the table for that slightly over smoked bird? Oh well, either way 2014 is a new year with new goals in work, life and well…cooking! And in terms of the latter, award winning appliance manufacturer Smeg (yes, the one with the uber cook refrigerators everyone wished they had) you can create a new, exciting dish a professional chef would be proud of, from succulent roast pork to melt-in-the-mouth extra lemony sponge cake all because of its brand new recipe card collection? 

 Recipe Cards?? Old School….

Yep, old school style, modern means, via Smegs website,  you can concoct nine delicious, classic British recipes which have been cleverly designed by a qualified home economist to help you produce the tastiest dishes using Smeg’s top-of-the-range, built-in or freestanding cooking appliances (or of course, your own!). SFP390X

The last recipe from this collection, Rotisserie sweet chilli chicken, has just been completed and is now available online. Simply go to www.smeguk.com now where you can download each recipe card and 26 other online recipes from around the globe, which range from party food and starters to sweets and desserts.

 But I just want to start cooking right now…

Oh, ok then, well here’s the recipe just for you!! x

 

Rotisserie sweet chilli chicken

Rotisserie chicken

SERVES 4

Ingredients:

1.6kg whole fresh chicken, finely grated zest 1 lime, 2 tsp dried chilli flakes,1 tbsp sunflower oil

2 tbsp runny honey, flaked sea salt, freshly ground black pepper

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C on the Rotisserie Grill setting. Place a baking tray lined with foil on the bottom shelf of the oven. This will collect any juices that drip from the chicken.

2. Mix the lime zest with the chilli flakes, a good pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the oil and honey until combined.

3. Place the chicken on a board. Do not remove the string holding the chicken together. Carefully thread the rotisserie rod down through the centre of the chicken.

4. Skewer each end with the clip forks and secure by tightening the screw on each fork. Brush the chilli mixture all over the skin of the chicken until it is evenly coated.

5. Place the rotisserie rod securely on to the rotisserie support according to your oven manual. Spit roast the chicken with the oven door closed for 1 ¼ hours or until the skin is deep golden brown and the chicken is thoroughly cooked. The juices should run clear.

6. Carefully remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to a board. Remember, it will be extremely hot and juices could splash. Loosely cover the chicken with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the rotisserie rod and carve the chicken to serve.

Rotisserie works in combination with the grill element whilst constantly turning the food

Why say thank you this Christmas when you can SING IT?!!! #bigthankyou @tesco

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 22.35.28

So are you lot on to your second or third Christmas dinner yet? Need to say thank you to those family members who have slaved away for hours to cook that perfectly stuffed Turkey, roast those potatoes and sizzle those sprouts? Then Tesco has the perfect thank you gift, which should put a smile on everyone’s faces in time for 2014.

The supermarket giant has launched  the #Big Thank You campaign, providing fun ways to say thank you for the little things that matter to you at Christmas, using short songs.  (The Big Thank You videos can be watched and shared here.)

They’ve already had a whopping 200,000 views and shares between them and its not hard to see why… here’s one of our favourites, its the Instagram thank you…

Thank you’s are a changing and look set to go even more digital in 2014, so… 

Tesco’s jumped on the band wagon, and decided to join the social media fun by  providing a series of short YouTube videos for a fun way to share a thank you through entertaining songs.

With videos featuring a singing trio whose songs cover everything from Christmas socks to sprouts and cooking the dinner, the campaign has been running from Christmas day. There are 15 short clips which can be emailed, tweeted or posted to family and friends.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 22.35.03

But what about tradition we hear you say… 

It’s a traditional part of Christmas day to call friends and family and to say thanks for the gifts received, but this year we did it online more than ever. With over 90% of 16-24 year olds and 74% 25-44 years olds on social media, it’s clear that many of us will be spreading the Christmas cheer online.

Tesco has been emailing their millions of Clubcard customers the Big Thank You videos to offer their singing services, as well as sharing them through Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 22.45.28

This is all young people nonsense no? 

And it’s not just youngsters who’ll be on social media during this festive period either, as 19% of 65-74 year olds are also online tweeting and posting. Tesco expect to see grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles all sharing the Big Thank You videos with relatives. And, with record numbers of us expecting to unwrap tablets – 60% of us have one our wish list** there will be a tuneful way to say thank you with your new gift.

Get sharing and Sing a song of Thank You’s! Thanks to Tesco! 

The Big Thank You videos can be watched and shared here.

Have a happy and safe New Years everyone and bring on 2014!! x

Plan ahead and sort out your new years hangover RIGHT NOW!! @verywisenutri @nutricentre #health #hangover #newyears

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.11.23Do you remember the morning of January 1st 2013… we assume it came part and parcel with a stinking hangover right? Then your family came round wanting to spend New Years day together and all you could think of was crawling under your duvet praying that the room would stop spinning, and knowing that there is not enough paracetamol in the world to stop this pain in your head. 

Well to stop this happening all over again, our friends at Very Wise Nutrition have been doing their research and have some handy hints to get you back to your A-Game come 2014. 

So here we go…. Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.10.21

When it comes to drinking, it’s all about damage limitation, look after your body and your body will look after your hangover.  Shona Wilkinson, Head Nutritionist at www.nutricentre.com shares her top tips to hangover-proof your Christmas!

Power on with Protein!

“Before heading out, make sure you eat a meal containing lots of protein (fish, meat, nuts, seeds, eggs, tofu) before you go out. Protein takes a long time to digest so it helps to line the stomach. Also as a preventative measure, take a milk thistle tincture before you party as this helps the liver deal with the toxins that will be introduced to the body.  Before bed, have a snack to help balance blood sugar levels – try marmite, humous or peanut butter on wholegrain toast, ‘’ explains ShonaScreen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.12.07

Face facts!

Woken up looking like the bride of Dracula with last night’s make-up smeared all over your face?  Let the power of fruit enzymes get your skin glowing in no time!  MyChelle’s new festive White Cranberry Cleanser, £8.50 from www.nutricentre.com naturally exfoliates, cleanses and brightens.  Willow Bark and Totarol™ help bring balance to oily and blemish-prone skin conditions. Pomegranate, a super fruit rich in antioxidants and naturally exfoliating fruit acids, protects against environmental aggressors, while keeping pores clear and skin calm.

Get juiced!

Resist that fat Cola and try a natural nutrient booster instead.  Shona suggests ‘’In the morning, have a smoothie made of banana, kiwi, flaxseed, cinnamon and spirulina and omega 3. This will ensure a good supply of vitamins and help balance blood sugar levels.’’ Add some Omega 3 to make for the ultimate hangover smoothie, VeryWise’s new OmegaWise with mango and peach tastes great and contains your RDA of Omega 3 and Vitamin D, £8.80 from www.verywisenutrition.co.uk

B Prepared

According to Shona, ‘’Alcohol destroys your body’s vital energy boosting and nervous system protecting  B vitamins.  Ensure you keep your B levels topped up the day before a big drinking session with a B complex’’Quest’s new Mega B 50, £6.69 for a month’s supply from www.nutricentre.comScreen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.12.22

We asked Shona some questions on hangovers to help separate the fact from the fiction…

1. Can food really help with a hangover or is it a myth?

Hangover symptoms show that the body is suffering from dehydration, mineral loss and low blood sugar, as well as the presence of toxic metabolites of alcohol. We can use food to prevent or reduce hangover symptoms, because certain nutrients are used for the body’s detoxification processes. We can use food and drink to counteract dehydration and nutrient loss caused by drinking, as well as to support balanced energy levels.

2. What should you eat before you go out and why?

The best foods and drinks to focus on are those which promote liver function. Firstly ensure you have protein (eggs, meat, fish, beans and lentils) because some amino acids facilitate detoxification, particularly of acetaldehyde which is thought to be a cause of unpleasant hangover symptoms. Secondly ensure you have antioxidant-rich fruits, fresh vegetables and leafy greens because they offer protection from free radicals which are considered another cause of hangovers.
Overall, it’s important that you do eat before drinking to slow the absorption of alcohol and additionally reduce the irritation that it causes to the stomach. Include healthy fats such as an olive oil dressing to slow absorption of alcohol, thereby slowing the work for your liver.

3. What should you eat the next day and why?

Start the day with a protein- and nutrient-rich breakfast.  Ideally choose eggs, because they are rich in cysteine which is needed to break down acetaldehyde. Try a healthier cooked breakfast of poached eggs, green leafy vegetables, grilled tomatoes and wholegrain bread. Keep your energy up by having plenty of slow release carbohydrates from wholegrains and vegetables.
Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, or even better drink coconut water as it’s naturally rich in electrolytes which helps to better hydrate you – like a sports drink but without artificial sweeteners. You could also have a fruit smoothie. Alcohol consumption results in dehydration which contributes to symptoms such as headache and fatigue, so this is very important.

4. What foods and drinks should you avoid (before and after drinking)?

Before, during and after drinking it’s best to avoid sugary foods and drinks, because alcohol consumption tends to play havoc with energy and blood sugar control. Refined sugars will compound this problem so it’s better to focus on protein and unrefined carbohydrates which release glucose slowly.
After drinking it’s best to avoid caffeine because it could worsen the dehydration.  Finally, after drinking the stomach may be irritated so it’s best to avoid very spicy or fatty fried foods.  It’s not wise to start drinking alcohol the next day because it prolongs the period of time for which your liver is processing alcohol.

So there you have it, get yourself ready for a new year without the hangover hang-ups!!! 

Dish up dreamy desserts this Xmas with @BaileysOriginal Christmas Creams #baileyschristmascreams #food #drink #christmas

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 18.07.34

Ever heard of the phrase “cant cook, won’t cook?” Yes, well it very much applies to us, the idea of a takeaway as the far easier option always comes to mind at around the 7pm timeslot, and the thought of hosting a group for dinner fills us with fear…until now.

With a little help from the latest Baileys Christmas Cream collection, this week we were taken on a culinary cuisine cruise around Les Atelier Des Chefs in London, to get ready for the Christmas season in style, and iron out any doubts we may have had about our cooking (or at least baking) abilities.Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 18.09.18

Luckily for us, in just a couple of hours, what we found, is that actually cooking is not only hugely fun and rewarding, but it also can be incredibly simple and yet produce results that even Mary Berry would be proud of. Oh and the fact that all the food we made had Bailey’s in it REALLY helps!

So where did this culinary cruise start?

Well as any good Christmas party host knows, it started with a nice glass of Prosecco… just to ease us into it of course! Now we would also recommend a quick pit stop before you get started, alongside a bowl of Baileys Original Sauce (£2.35 300ml) which you dip some yummy strawberry’s and marshmallows into as a pre dessert nibble!

Then with our advice, you skip the main meal and head straight for dessert!!!

Dessert you say…already?

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 18.12.45Well isn’t this splendid, who said Christmas isn’t about indulging yourself entirely. With the help of a fantastic Food Innovator called Janey Greene, (who taught us everything we needed to know on the day) Baileys has mustered up some fabulous dessert treats that have convinced us that we could pose as master chefs in no time at all!

All you literally need is a little bit of Baileys very own Christmas Cream selection and you will have a unique recipe or two to impress your friends with in no time

Here’s what we made on the day – oh and a little look at us in action….

Baileys Creamy Custard Fruit Brulee – by Janey Green

Apples and Dates infused with Tangerine and Basil, topped with Baileys Cream Vanilla Custard and finished with a Brulee toppingScreen Shot 2013-12-05 at 18.17.03

Baileys Cream with Chilli Chocolate and Sour Cherry

Warm dipping sauce served with Filo Pastry ‘cinnamon sticks’Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 22.24.26

For these recipes, make sure you visit Janey’s wonderful blog A Slice of Slim.

 It really is that simple!

We cant express enough how easy these recipes were to make, and just how unique they all taste with a yummy Bailey’s twist. Even if its not your immediate top tipple, the addition of this to any dessert at Christmas is really worth it.

It’s guaranteed to make you fall in love with puddings all over again! Here’s some ideas for you…

Try classic Baileys Original Irish Cream with gooey chocolate cakes and tortes, while Baileys with a hint of Crème Caramel is the perfect accompaniment to warm sticky toffee puddings or fresh fruit crumbles and tarts. You can even use it to add a little extra luxury to recipes that traditionally use chilled cream, such as trifles or tiramisu.

The list is endless, and the taste is priceless! So what are you waiting for, its time to get in the kitchen, pretend you’re Nigella (in better times) and become the hostest with the mostest this Christmas! Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 22.30.06

Its one more day to Halloween so are you in or out?! #halloween #trueblood @barsoho @foundationbar

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 11.40.06Whether you’re staying in or going out on All Hallows Eve, we’ve got some demonically delightful treats for you! Test your nerves with some spookily delightful delicacies from True Blood’s Drink and Bite recipe book or head to The Foundation Bar and Bar Soho to try some trickery with their cacklingly good cocktails… 

STAYING IN… 

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 11.16.28Entertaining in a big way, or just having a few friends over to watch scary movies (or the latest episode of True Blood!), this is the only spell book you’ll need this Halloween.  Featuring forty-five themed recipes inspired by the HBO® original series, and geared toward the ravenous fans who love to gather for weekly watch parties, True Blood Drinks & Bites is a spooky steal at just £11.99 from the HBO Store. From often-ordered refreshments at Merlotte’s and Fangtasia to the Fortenberrys’ family recipes for the best finger foods around, here are mixed drinks for teetotalers and boozehounds alike plus bites for all appetites.

Sip and nibble as the drama goes down onscreen, or quench your cravings in between episodes—how about Scorn Fritters and Cheese Stakes washed down with an ice-cold Spirit Lifter? Or a Maenad a Trois paired with Skinwalkers and Vamp Repellent? It’s a bayou buffet no Trubie can resist and you’ll be a Southern spirit in no time!

Some of our tried and tested favourites have to be Vamp Repellent (tasty and very necessary on a night like Halloween! – Pg 79) and Werewolf Biscuits Pg 105 (you’ll be howling with joy once you’ve tried them!)

Here’s another tantalising taster for you to try….

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 11.16.50

GOING OUT

Well if you just cant sit still and watch something scary in your own home, maybe you’ll want to head out to the big bad, big smoke!

This Halloween Foundation Bar in Covent Garden will be hosting a 28 Days Later Halloween event complete with Zombies on arrival and coloured contact lenses!  And Bar Soho will be serving up some cocktails that will send a shiver down your spine at its very own Monster Ball, to get all London’s vampires, monsters, witches, and ghouls in the mood for Halloween. The cocktail recipes are below, and please find the full press release with images attached.

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 11.45.37Dracula’s Kiss

Every Halloween is undoubtedly blood thirsty and this year is no exception. But stay away from the blood and try out a Dracula’s Kiss instead; a mixture of Eristoff vodka, Chambord, and cranberry juice.

Vampire Elixir

Elixir, Greek for sweet-flavoured liquid that heals wounds, is a perfect drink to accompany anyone who’s been hanging out with vampires. Eristoff vodka mixed with apricot brandy, lime juice, pomegranate juice- this cocktail certainly has healing powers.

Monsters Ink

This Monsters Ink cocktail contains Bacardi Superior, Archers, Monster Energy and a healthy drop of Eristoff Black vodka that dribbles through the cocktail like an open wound.

Witches Brew

A frightfully daring brew of both Eristoff and Eristoff Black vodka mixed with Blue Curacao and apple juice, all topped off with extra sour sweets to make you cackle!Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 11.45.50

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!

Fancy a piece of this pie? Its all for a VERY good cause! @pieminister #popup #charity

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 10.51.39

Have you ever tasted Pieminister’s legendary range of pies? Served with delicious buttery mash, peas and gravy? Ooh well you’re missing out, but not for long! If you pop to Camden up until the 17th November, you can try these amazing treats and give a little back in the meantime!

Located opposite London’s famous Stables Market in Camden, the fully licensed Cattle Market (21-22 Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AG) is open from 10am to 11pm. The Pieminister Pop Up Pie Shop  – The Cattle Market – will be kick starting 30 farms in Africa (with your help) and get them to their fund raising target. To do this the amazing team will be giving pies for free, in return for donations to the Cattle Drive fund! Simples! Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 10.51.03

Its not just all about food though…a well-stocked bar will be serving up some great pie accompaniments including West Country ciders and craft beers from Camden Town Brewery and the Bristol Beer Factory, as well as Bristol’s own 6 O’clock Gin.

Tell me more about the charity work…

Every penny raised from food sales will go directly into the Cattle Drive fund for African development charity Send a Cow.   Over the next year, Pieminister’s £40,000 fundraising target will fund the construction and stocking of 30 farms so that around 224 people in Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia and Lesotho will be trained to become farmers, leaving poverty and hunger behind for good.

Based in Bath, Send a Cow has been working in Africa for 25 years and in that time transformed over a million lives.

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 10.51.53

What? There’s more?! 

The Cattle Market is just one element of Pieminister’s Cattle Drive:

  • Pieminister will donate 10p from every pie sold through retailers including Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Budgens and Wholefoods towards its Cattle Drive.  Pie fans will be rewarded with a decorative coloured felt cow with every pie they buy.
  • A series of one-off Cattle Drive nights will be held at selected Pieminister restaurants nationwide, where customers can enjoy a pie feast for free in return for donations.
  • Pieminister’s retro pie-scream van will embark on a week-long Cattle Drive from Send a Cow’s HQ in Bath to the pop-up pie shop in Camden, giving away free pies en route, in return for donations.
  • Participating pubs with a Pieminister pie menu can contribute towards the Cattle Drive’s fundraising target by featuring Pieminister’s ‘Prize Cow Draw’. For a small donation, pub-goers can enter the draw to win a year’s supply of Pieminister pies.
  • Entrants will also be invited to draw a ‘Prize Cow’ for more chances to win exciting prizes.  The best or funniest cows will be displayed on Pieminister’s Facebook page, so fans vote for their favourite ‘Prize Cows’.    This competition will also run at Pieminister restaurants.
  • Businesses across the UK can also get involved by participating in Pieminister’s ‘Cattle Auction’, to bid for pies; Pieminister will provide the pies for free so staff can bid for their favourites and raise money.  A prize will be awarded to the office which raises the most amount of money for the Cattle Drive.

Find out more and get involved visit www.pieminister.co.uk/cattledrive.  And follow the herd on twitter or facebook or become a V.I.Pie.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall says let 100,000 British children eat fruit! @rivercottage #fruitshare #food #healthyeating

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 09.40.07The long running campaign to get children of Britain eating more healthy food has taken another step up the ladder. Over 100,000 school children will get the chance to eat more fruit after 600 schools signed up in the last few days to River Cottage and Crowdfunder UK’s Fruitshare campaign.

From its initial launch it took under two hours, for 550 schools across the country to successfully sign up to receive a free pack of four fruit trees after food campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall announced the scheme during his new River Cottage To The Core TV series which aired on Wednesday 16 October.

And now that the free packs of trees, donated by the Woodland Trust, have been allocated, schools across the UK are signing up to crowdfund more fruit trees themselves.Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 09.39.37

Schools are signing up to Crowdfunder UK’s site, which is giving schools the opportunity to raise amounts of £270, £130 and £70 to receive packs of 20, 10 or five trees – funded by their communities, local business, parents and PTA associations. Over 50 schools have already signed up to crowdfund trees.

Crowdfunding relies on people pledging money in return for rewards.  Crowdfunder UK, in partnership with Plymouth University, has teamed up with Abel and Cole, the organic veg-box company, The Woodland Trust and River Cottage to provide great rewards to encourage people to back the school-led campaigns.

Using his celebrity chef status for a good cause, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “I am on a mission to make the most of fruit, so what better place to start than with our kids. If we can get them to propagate a positive relationship with fruit, it could be a love affair that lasts a lifetime.

Gathering local communities and businesses to use Crowdfunder.co.uk to raise funds to get growing fruit trees is a brilliant way of demonstrating what can happen when a group of people get together to achieve something great.”

Schools can launch their individual Fruitshare campaigns by registering on www.crowdfunder.co.uk/fruitshare.

And you can follow the campaign on Twitter following the #fruitshare so get involved and help get our countries children eating better!

Put on a Hunger Games Party in 3 steps and may the odds be ever in your favour! #hungergames

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 18.47.25

Well if you weren’t already super excited about the next installment of The Hunger Games hitting cinema screens in November, you can get the reaping started with your very own Hunger Games themed party!

We attended a very special Hunger Games event day last week which gave us all the inspiration we needed to bring a little bit of Capitol into our lives for the end of the Summer. So forget the BBQ’s and go all out with stupendous style and the odds will ever be in your favour!

IMG_3531

Step 1: Bake the Book!

No not literally, but we absolutely LOVED the Hunger Games cup cakes at the event day, and felt that no Hunger Games party would be complete without them. So here’s a really helpful video from across the pond, which will inevitably get your mouth watering for what is an essential party piece… the Mockingjay cupcake!

 

Step 2: Get the Look! 

IMG_3533

Who would have thought the Capitol would have been so on trend in the real world. Well, as we found out there are two major fashion go-go’s coming out of The Hunger Games and one is Capitol party style and the other is Tribute tracksuits!

For the Capitol party style you can look no further than your local fashion retailer for some fantastic bits. It doesn’t have to cost your district to get Captiol fashion and there’s so much out there…

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 17.37.30We found this Rare Fringe Bandeau Dress at ASOS.com reduced from £45.00 down to £22.00 you too could be the girl on fire in this little number!Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 18.14.17

And if you want to shuffle along like Effie Trinket, then how about these Chinese Laundry China Doll Heeled Shoes… you’ll need to splash out a little bit more, but once again they’re on sale at ASOS.com for £62.00 (RRP £120.00)

 But if you’re feeling more in tune with one of the Tributes, then you might want to spend your cash on the futuristic exercise range from Lucas Hugh London. Having never provided products for movies before, its Creative Director Anjhe Mule was sought out and hand picked by Catching Fire Costume Designer Trish Summerville to help provide some of the amazing outfits for the films key stars.

IMG_3551

Step 3: Top up Trinket Style

No party look would be complete without an Effie Trinket make over and the amazing make up artist who took care of Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth at the UK premiere told us that the key to Effie Trinket’s looks is clashing colours, blended together on the eyes and hyper real pale skin! Think Alexander McQueen with strong bold eyes and Geisha lips.Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 18.29.30

She also mentioned that since The Hunger Games hit our cinema screens, people have really realized that make up can be much more fun, and that there really aren’t any rules, so maybe there’s a little bit of Capitol in this capital city after all!

So what are you waiting for, you have the food, the clothes and the make up to make a very Happy Hunger Games! Enjoy!!

@katscapades tells us to forget the Yo-Yo diet and embrace the #monacodiet #beauty #health

Once again, our health, fitness (and travel) guru Katrina Santos-Baron (www.katscapades.net) shows us how to live healthier…and maybe lose a few pounds in the process! So have a good old read, take the points on board, give it a whirl and let us know what you think!! 

image (3)

One fitness quote said, ‘it takes 4 weeks for you to notice, 8 weeks for your friends and 12 weeks for the rest of the world’.  I started a Weight Loss Challenge last March but had a major relapse when I had friends come to stay for two weeks! (oops!) I almost gained what I just lost, so I discovered the importance of juicing and decided to do an Alpha-reset (5-day juicing detox) to get back into shape. Juicing has been a habit since then. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot of things, and discovered my passion for running. So taaaaaaaaadaaaaaaaaaa, I’ve lost over 5.6 kilos and just above 10cm (3.9 inches) around my waist. Yaaaaaaaaaahooooooooooooooo!

I’m so loving a healthy lifestyle. For me, it’s not just a fad or an excuse to sometimes splurge in the organic section of the supermarket. It’s way beyond counting calorie intakes or trying to join the ‘green’ club. It’s giving utmost value to ourselves, like valuing something that you’d been meaning to have and finally got it (just like when I received my first Chanel bag – it was treated like a V.I.P.!). Taking care of our body is a must, it’s the only one we have!

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 08.20.55

I was never really a fan of crash diets. I was too skinny before anyways. In fact, I used to eat a lot! Like 3 cups of rice and meat plus a lot of sweets on one sitting three to four times a day! However, as they say, our bodies start to change as we reach the age of 25. Though I believed I had a healthier lifestyle since I moved to London (except for the cake moments with my best friend – which occurred on most days of my London life, ooops), I kinda felt this body-changing-after-25 particularly when I got married two years later. The joys of cooking and discovering amazing eating places, plus the ‘dining bond’ with my hubby (with no exercise) during the first 8 months of our marriage resulted to unpleasant muffin tops! And there I was, tempted to try different crash diets but I thought best not to. Motivated to lose weight eventually paved the way for me to really get hooked into maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

I recently had some dietary advice from a Monaco-based nutritionist  that really helped me on my fitness journey. I admit that I’m not 100% following it (I’m still human by the way), but it’s good to have it at the back of my head which acts like a little voice whenever I’m about to cook, do my grocery shopping and as I put my trainers on. I shared it with some of my friends and they’re happy with the results. This may not be new to you – I’ve known some of the items he shared before I met him but it didn’t just remind me, it also made me more aware about the importance of what we eat and do to how it affects our body

  • THE GOLDEN RULES OF NUTRITION
  • Do not ever starve yourself. When you starve, your metabolism slows down. You might be losing weight but gaining more afterwards, also known as the yo-yo effect. Like what C. Helgoe said, ‘if weight loss is your only motivation, and you jump into the latest fast being used by Hollywood stars getting ready for Oscar gowns, your program is likely to backfire’. Remember, your diet should be eating more of the right foods at the right time.
  • Eliminate flour, gluten and junk in your meals. I know this is super hard, eh?!
  • NO to dairy products – milk and cheese, huhuhuhu…. Goat’s cheese is ok (it’s not from the cow :p)
  • Here’re the good news – carbs are ok! YES! But only until 2pm.
  • Eat fruits only in the morning as most fruits have high sugar content.
  • Salt = Cellulites. Yikes!
  • NO to GMO too – choose organic.
  • Drink protein shakes for breakfast (could be mixed with fruits) and drink another one in the evening (without the fruits)
  • Fats will only be burned after 40 mins of cardio since the first 40 mins are only for sugar-burning
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep for cells to regenerate properly (natural anti-aging)
  • [Goes without saying] Drink loads of water
  • Don’t forget the veggies!

LET THE MONACO DIET BEGIN:

So here’s how my daily diet and activity looks like:

  • Between 6:30 to 7:00am: It’s cooking time! So meanwhile, I’m drinking Juice PLUS+® Complete Vanilla or Chocolate Shake. I like it how it is so I only add water. Maybe one day I’ll try making smoothies with it.
  • About 7ish: My hubby and I normally have eggs for breakfast. Eggs are packed with protein and healthy fats – good for muscle growth and burning body fats partnered with superfood – avocado and spinach served with green juice on the side.

image (2)

Once in every 2 weeks, I make tapsilog (a Filipino dish composed of beef, eggs and fried rice but I cook it a non-stick frying pan – so no oil or sometimes a tiny bit of organic olive oil). Oh, try frying tomatoes with olive oil and basil – they go well with the eggs too!

  • Between 8am to 11am: I have some fruits on my working desk.
  • Around 12ish: I’m happy with a salad especially during the heatwave in the Riviera. Have you seen my crispy lettuce with strawberry salad dressing? If not, please click here. Sometimes I eat rice or whole wheat pasta with protein and fiber (so that’s meat and veggies). I also try adding some twists to the traditional dishes such as including spinach to spag bol sauce for instance served over gluten-free pasta or zoodles (zucchini-made-like-noodles). Who says healthy food is boring and tasteless?! I disagree! 🙂

image (1)

  • When my hubby gets home at 5pm: We have an early supper mostly composed of protein and fiber (I also cook with carbs for his packed lunch the next day but I try not to eat carbs during this time, til 2pm, remember?!). Sometimes I make another glass of fresh juice.
  • Between 7pm to 8pm: Trainers on, off we go running. Since it’s been too hot lately to run by the beach, I’ve been running lately at the treadmill (3 – 4 times a week). If we get hungry after the run, we just boil 2-3 eggs each eating only the white. Bye, bye yolk!
  • 9pm: Juice PLUS+® Complete Vanilla or Chocolate Shake
  • 10ish to 11ish: Bed time!

Cheat day once a week is OK but if you sweat your ass off the gym and become aware of what’s good for the body and not, you’ll still resort to eating more of the right food and feel [a bit] guilty if not, therefore limiting unhealthy intake (if I used to eat up to 6 cupcakes at one sitting, now, 1 cupcake is enough during my cheat day).

When trying to lose weight, it is also important to think of these:

  • Why are you doing it. It’s an awesome feeling being able to fit into the clothes you want to wear, waking up with a flatter tummy, notice your skin looks younger and glowing everyday without putting on cosmetics, being able to run faster and be more mentally alert during working hours. As for me, I DON’T WANT TO BE SKINNY, I WANT TO BE FIT. I’d like to prepare my body as healthy as possible – who knows, we’ll have a baby soon? 🙂
  • Keep a diary of your progress. I did 🙂 It didn’t happen overnight, didn’t happen over a period of 10 days as well. It took me months and learned a lot along the way (and still learning!). Aside from my messy notebook, I also documented my progress @katscapades in Instagram and thru my previous blogs:
  • Do the alternatives. Take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to the grocery instead of taking the car or bus, go for a fresh morning walk instead of snooze-snooze-go-away bed mood. Just be active. Move a lot. Y’know what I mean 🙂
  • Read the labels. Geesh, I really do spend time reading labels (in French) at the supermarket!
  • Be fun and creative! Sooner or later, you’ll discover that healthy chef within you.
  • Nobody’s perfect. You may feel you’re behind your regime but don’t panic – slow progress is better than no progress at all.
  • Connect with like-minded people. Share and start inspiring others too – it’ll make you feel like a million-euro-monaco-baby!
  • Take the holistic route. Have a balanced diet, regular exercise, fill your life with laughter and love. La vie est belle!

Cheers to a healthier us! xoxo

P.S. I just called it the ‘Monaco diet’ since the nutritionist is based there. Results on individuals may vary, consult your doctor first. But overall, I recommend a healthy lifestyle 🙂